Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Micro Moments of Love

--by Barbara Frederickson (Jun 17, 2013)

It’s time to upgrade our view of love. 
First and foremost, love is an emotion, a momentary state that arises to infuse your mind and body alike. Love, like all emotions, surfaces like a distinct and fast-moving weather pattern, a subtle and ever-shifting force. As for all positive emotions, the inner feeling love brings you is inherently and exquisitely pleasant -- it feels extraordinarily good, the way a long, cool drink of water feels when you’re parched on a hot day. Yet far beyond feeling good, a micro-moment of love, like other positive emotions, literally changes your mind. It expands your awareness of your surroundings, even your sense of self. The boundaries between you and not-you -- what lies beyond your skin -- relax and become more permeable. While infused with love you see fewer distinctions between you and others. Indeed, your ability to see others -- really see them, wholeheartedly -- springs open. Love can even give you a palpable sense of oneness and connection, a transcendence that makes you feel part of something far larger than yourself.

Love, like all emotions, surfaces like a distinct and fast-moving weather pattern, a subtle and ever-shifting force.  And the new take on love that I want to share with you is this: Love blossoms virtually any time two or more people -- even strangers -- connect over a shared positive emotion, be it mild or strong.  
Odds are, if you were raised in a Western culture, you think of emotions as largely private events. You locate them within a person’s boundaries, confined within their mind and skin. When conversing about emotions, your use of singular possessive adjectives betrays this point of view. You refer to ‘my anxiety,’ ‘his anger,’ or ‘her interest.’ Following this logic, love would seem to belong to the person who feels it. Defining love as positivity resonance challenges this view. Love unfolds and reverberates between and among people -- within interpersonal transactions -- and thereby belong to all parties involved, and to the metaphorical connective tissue that binds them together, albeit temporarily.  More than any other positive emotion, then, love belongs not to one person, but to pairs or groups of people. It resides within connections.
Perhaps most challenging of all, love is neither lasting nor unconditional. The radical shift we need to make is this: Love, as your body experiences it, is a micro-moment of connection shared with another.  And decades of research now shows that love, seen as these micro-moments of positive connection, fortifies the connection between your brain and your heart and makes you healthier.  [...]  It can seem surprising that an experience that lasts just a micro-moment can have any lasting effect on your health and longevity. Yet there’s an important feedback loop at work here, an upward spiral between your social and your physical well-being. That is, your micro-moments of love not only make you healthier, but being healthier also builds your capacity for love. Little by little, love begets love by improving your health. And health begets health by improving your capacity for love.
--Barbara Frederickson, in Love 2.0

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On Jun 14, 2013 Conrad P. Pritscher wrote:

 Thank you for the opportunity to respond.  I believe when one is healthy, one is more likely to love, and when one loves, one is more likely to become more healthy. Love can be a micro moment of positive connection and I think it can be much more than that, That "more" can't be easily said.  When one is peaceful there is a greater chance for one being compassionate and loving.  When one is loving and compassionate there is greater chance for being peaceful.  Love, in the sense of compassion for others and self, is more than an emotion.  I see it as a way of being.  I am reminded of the word enthusiasm which comes from the Greek word etheos, the God within.  When a person experiences oneness with everyone and everything then one has  God within.  As a person is one with the universe, that  is something like a wave and the ocean being one.  When we use words as we frequently do, we at times overly intellectualize, and as the former University of Michigan philosopher, Abraham Kaplan said: "It has almost become a metaphysical doctrine and the whole point is lost."  What Kaplan is talking about he says:"is nothing at all special, and this, of course, is what makes it seem so extraordinary."  Kaplan goes on to explain that he does not want life to be a metaphysical exercise.  He wants people to avoid living "like those amateur musicians who were always practicing the piano but never playing."  Kaplan thought we want to learn how to better live.  When one is certain about what is going to happen next, one is often closed to what else might happen.  Next, like tomorrow, is never here now.  Now is all there is and I am unsure of what I am saying.  Warm and kind regards to everyone.

On Jun 16, 2013 david doane wrote:

 To start, from my viewpoint the author confuses in love and love, which I see as separate phenomena that can exist concurrently and can affect and support one another.  In saying "love is an emotion, a momentary state" that "surfaces like a distinct and fast-moving weather pattern," the author is describing 'in love."  As I see it, love is a state of consciousness that one abides in.  We fall into emotional love; we grow into abiding in a state of love.  Love involves emotion but is more than emotion.  'In love' is a micromoment or longer of positive connection, but 'love' is a state of consciousness and a way of being and a positive connection in relation to others and all that is.  I am convinced that love, both kinds that I speak of, is healthy and nurtures good health, and health affects love.  It is probably easier for the healthy person to love and be in love, though the unhealthy person can certainly also love and be in love which I believe promote good health. Micromoments of in love occur for me frequently, and they are always positive and usually exhilarating, and often  the other doesn't even know it is occurring.  Macroperiods of in love occur much less frequently for me, and they are also positive and life enhancing.  Love, that is, that abiding state of compassion and connection, is not a micromoment for me but a state of consciousness that I abide in much more often than I used to, and it is invigorating and transforming.  Such love reverberates in me in relation to others, but contrary to the author's opinion, it resides in me and can reside in me even when with someone who is unloving. 

On Jun 17, 2013 amy wrote:

For God so loved . . . He created every little "micro thing/life form" that "IS".
As God IS Love . . . He has imbedded His Seal/His Love on EVERYTHING/ONE created.

This evening, after a significant rain fall, my dog and I biked to the Kwik Trip  for some milk and eggs.  The green grass, clover, bullfrogs, duck, heron, pelican, sky, puddles, passing people, smiles, small conversations, church, school, children playing, sounds all around, cool breezes, air (I pumped up my tires at the KT) . . . honestly, I could go on and on . . . :  Micro and Macro "Love forms" abound.
When one lives in love, in God, in heightened awareness of the "micro" (the small stuff), you're really living LARGE!

Celebrating Father's Day this past weekend, my (earthly) Father encouraged EVERYONE present to walk around the home we were invited to (which happened to be my brother's home) to take in the beauty of this day.  Dad (at 77 years of age) has instilled, in each one of his children, an appreciation for plants, trees, birds, animals, weather . . . all things NATURE.  

For God so Loved  . . . at no cost . . . with no strings . . . we've Love surrounding us . . . in the "little things"!

Happy Fathers Day!   

On Jun 17, 2013 Kahalewai wrote:

That was very nice, but only about human Love. The missing element is spiritual love, which is a much higher vibration when genuine and effortless, and also beyond the roller coaster ride of human emotions. I have experienced a different and higher level of Love in many ways and at many times that needs absolutely no confirmation, nor guarantees, promises or emotion. It is called ​pure Aloha in Hawaii, and has many names in many cultures. It is quite rare and ​precious for us all. Yet when you see it you can also know it, if your discernment abilities are intact. There is a genuine ​peace in a loving state of being in a spiritual since that is not material and within the human dimension. Human love depends on the other, and fluctuates, but spiritual love does not require validation nor reciprocity as it draws from the universal supply for its source. Thus it is truly unconditional and reflects the pure essence of the Universe. Ahhhhh .... Love it!   

On Jun 18, 2013 Jagdish P Dave wrote:

 I have experienced in myself and from others both kinds of love: conditional love and unconditional love-love with expectations in return and with no expectations in return, with attachment and without attachment. The first kind of love arises in and from the "lower heart" and the second type of love arises  from the "higher heart". There are also times when I have experienced both in varying degrees. I am a human being. The human part is associated with my lower heart and the being part is associated with my higher heart. When I accept the hurt and disappointment  with grace as a way of growing and maturing, I move into the pure and unconditional love. I feel I am maturing and getting a little wiser from my experiences. To me experiencing love and growing from love is a life long encouraging process. 

I make a conscious shift using my energy from nerve wrecking story telling, why me suffering, to what is the purpose and reason for my suffering for me, what is the lesson I am learning for my self. This way of working on myself is liberating, encouraging and promising.

Jagdish P Dave

On Jun 18, 2013 Vin Kumar wrote:
No story. You have lot of time in your hand. Go for a walk or jog and be more productive.

On Jun 18, 2013 Thierry wrote:

 I remember a time when I was 'in love' with the works of the great writer and poet D.H. Lawrence, a time when I felt devastated at the sight of a wildly beautiful girl, because this was what in loveness actually was for me: devastating! And, apparently also, in some way, for the author of The Girl And The Gipsy. And what remains of this great fire today is but gratitude for the man who taught me the love of  the English language. No nostalgia whatsoever. And I see human in-loveness now as only the inspirer of good, great litterature, if one has the talent, or as a passion to be transmuted into something less fleeting, more encompassing yet no less vital. I must say I am impressed by some of the comments I just read. Because this transmutation is far from easy and something of the vitality inherent with the state of in loveness may be lost in the process. Whether transmuted  into art, or in the wondrous kind of love of a Jesus or the limitless compassion of a Buddha. The author seems right to say that these moments are moments when we reconnect with something vital which is always in danger of being forsaken.    

On Jun 18, 2013 S. Paula wrote:

 Love Is.  We may experience it as micromoments because we do not understand how to resonate with it for any length of time. It is not an emotion but it may manifest in us, for a microsecond,  as emotion because that is how we interpret and understand most things in life, on a momentary emotional basis. That is why life is a bumpy ride for most people rather than a flowing experience. We are constantly shifting emotions based on how we interpret the symbols around us, including each other, grabbing only microseconds of the infinite Love that is our true reality and always available to anyone. Our society is sicker than it has ever been physically and emotionally because we have largely replaced nurturing infinite Love that heals and maintains with fleeting symbolic love that creates emotion deficit  disorders and hyperactive emotion disorders that feedback  negatively on our health. If microseconds have a positive effect imagine living in the infinite flow of  Love... then do it. Love Is.

On Jun 18, 2013 Rod Templin wrote:

 A very strong reaction comes to me when someone says, "there is no such thing as unconditional love." Just because one has never experienced something does not mean it does not exist. Indeed, the highest form of love is unconditional love.

On Jun 18, 2013 j wrote:

 Thank you!  What you say . . . true.

On Jun 19, 2013 Thierry wrote:

I did'nt say such love did not exist. I said I was impressed by those who consistently experience it. I would not venture to participate in this forum if some such people had not left a strong imprint on me and had not made me aware of my radical insufficiency. 

On Jun 19, 2013 Vin Kumar wrote:

 Love is a need in the process of Evolution. We make too much out of it.Try love when you are living in a jungle and no shelter and no food. It is our evolution of brain that created love as well as GOD.

On Jun 19, 2013 Blythe wrote:

Everyday we can have these moments of love, actually at the most inauspicious moments we can have these bright bits of softness and tenderness towards each other and ourselves. We may be surprised how often they occur, once we are attuned to the happy warmth that attends the connection.

On Jun 19, 2013 liz tella wrote:

 what i agree with most at the moment is that love is temporary and not unconditional. 
love may be overrated as is. filial love is too temporary, fleeting and mostly condition. true love should be actionalised and not just confessed. a lot of people have felt incredible love that made them happy and more healthy but gave up on it. i would like to know love's boundaries. who should you love? can you control it? 
this should be a focal point. how far should you go to love?

On Jun 19, 2013 S.Paula wrote:

 Vin, I see it more as a need for Love rather than love as a need. Our brains may evolve to understand, share and respond to Love in new ways  and  we can create with it, but we cannot create it, capture it, change it, or use it up; we can only change our concepts of it and beliefs about it and choose to live with or without it. Love has gotten me, and I am sure countless others, through times like those you mention, the most desperate moments when there was no one and no other help. I learned that Love is  the great harmonizer of all things and the more we live with Love as our source the fewer desperate times we have. It is something that the brain cannot fully comprehend or explain adequately, regardless of evolution. We cannot make too much of air, we cannot make too much of water.....things so essential to our very existence as living beings. And, we cannot make too much of Love, without which air and water only perpetuate chaos.

On Jun 19, 2013 m.v.rao wrote:

 Love is our true reality and is infinite. It cannot be confined to only human to human. Our scriptures say: Love is GOD and GOD is Love. There is no GOD other than love. LOVE is our path and goal.
Our very nature is reality. We can realize the reality (truth) only by cultivating pure selfless and divine love. Without love you cannot achieve anything in the world. Love is the source and substance of universe. Without love world becomes a vacuum. Love alone assumes a form. The truth is that there is no greater sadhana than love. Love without attachment is divine.  If you live in love, you will not find anger in others. There is no force in the world powerful than love.
Man is associated with love. All relationships between people in this world are established and cultivated because of love. Again love becomes the cause for separation of two individuals
 Love begins at home. We can make our own homes temples of love if we understand and practice it. Children learn from their fathers and mothers how to love one another. Love as attachment is bondage. Love as sacrifice is the doorway to peace. It is the Love inside which makes a man closer to God and not the rituals. Love grows more and more when one leaves the EGO. Wherever there is ‘I’, there cannot be love. A love which says “I love you only if certain conditions are fulfilled” is not love at all. True love is one which allows freedom to other person to be what he or she is with a sense of awareness. Love with no strings attached is friendliness.
I read some where that, Lord Budda used to tell his disciples, ”when you pass by a tree, let your love energy flow towards the tree accepting the tree as it is when you approach a rock, let your love energy flow towards the rock, accepting it as it is. Let the unspoken articulation be I love you. I accept you as you are irrespective of whether the object is animate or inanimate”. That is why BUDDA is called ”The Compassionate one”
 LOVE has SIX characteristics as per the Sanskrit saying:-                             “It GIVES – ACCEPTS – REVEALS – SECRETS – ASKS – EXPERIENCES – AND PROVIDES EXPERIENCE TO OTHERS”.
If you really operate from love, you can say that I exist in you and you exist in me. like a wave in the ocean can say I exist in the ocean and the ocean exist in me.
He sees himself in all beings and all beings in himself.

Note: Instead of giving comments, I gave my thoughts on love. If you think appropriate you may consider for reading otherwise you may delete. Thanks. m.v.rao.

On Jun 20, 2013 Maya wrote:

 Amy, your comment is so right on; your father has given you a great gift in helping his children appreciate God's gift of Nature.  I have learned this lesson a little later in life, but what a gift it is to appreciate Nature as God present among us.

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